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Streptococcus suis cps7: an emerging virulent sequence type (ST29) shows a distinct, IgM-determined pattern of bacterial survival in blood of piglets during the early adaptive immune response after weaning

Rieckmann, Karoline, Seydel, Anna, Szewczyk, Kristin, Klimke, Kerstin, Rungelrath, Viktoria, Baums, Christoph Georg
Veterinary research 2018 v.49 no.1 pp. 48
Streptococcus suis, adaptive immunity, arthritis, blood, farms, herds, immunoglobulin M, meningitis, pathogens, pathotypes, phenotype, piglets, proteinases, septicemia, stop codon, veterinary medicine, virulence, weaning, Germany
Streptococcus (S.) suis is an important porcine pathogen causing meningitis, arthritis and septicemia. As cps7 emerged recently in Germany in association with severe herd problems, the objective of this study was to characterize the geno- and phenotype of invasive cps7 strains. Twenty cps7 strains were isolated from diseased pigs from different farms with S. suis herd problems due to meningitis and other pathologies. Eighteen of the cps7 isolates belonged to sequence type (ST) 29. Most of these cps7 strains secreted a short MRP variant in agreement with a premature stop codon. Expression of Ide Sₛᵤᵢₛ , an IgM specific protease, was variable in four further investigated cps7 ST29 isolates. Bactericidal assays revealed very high survival factors of these four cps7 ST29 strains in the blood of weaning piglets. In growing piglets, the increase of specific IgM led to efficient killing of cps7 ST29 as shown by addition of the IgM protease Ide Sₛᵤᵢₛ . Finally, virulence of a cps7 ST29 strain was confirmed in experimental infection of weaning piglets leading to meningitis and arthritis. In conclusion, this study characterizes cps7 ST29 as a distinct S. suis pathotype showing high survival factors in porcine blood after weaning, but IgM-mediated killing in the blood of older growing piglets. This underlines the relevance of IgM as an important host defense mechanism against S. suis.